Bike: Save My Life (1996)

 |   |  1 min read

Bike: Save My Life (1996)

Unless you actually know Andrew Brough, he is one of the great lost figures in recent New Zealand rock.

One of the songwriters in Straitjacket Fits alongside Shayne Carter, he jumped/was pushed in 1992 after their second album Melt and briefly re-emerged in the mid Nineties when he seemed to get the wind behind him with Bike which became a vehicle for his distinctive, melodic songwriting.

An aficionado of (and somewhat of an expert on) mid Sixties pop-rock, Brough had contributed Sparkle That Shines to their debut EP Life in One Chord, a genuine Kiwi classic EP. He also wrote the lovely Down in Splendour for Melt.

With Bike, he kept the focus on a wall of melodic guitars and this, their debut single, was a finalist for the APRA Silver Scroll songwriitng award in '96. Bike were also nominated as Most Promising New Band at the New Zealand music awards.

bikeRecorded in the summer of '96-'97 at Auckland's York Street, the song was produced by Malcolm Wellfsord and Brough, and the line-up had Tristan Mason on bass and Karl Buckley on drums.

Although an album Take in the Sun was released in '97 -- preceded by the single Circus Kids, Wayne Bell now on drums -- Bike seemed to disappear into the haze very quickly, their promise never fulfilled.

There were some live shows but after the release of the album things just ended, not with a bang but a whimper.

Pity, because in the promo sheet which came with the Circus Kids single, Neil Finn -- a regular visitor to York St -- heard the song and allegedly commented, "Proof again that Andrew Brough writes a damn good tune."

Check out the clip. He did.

Does he still? Who would know?

This song seems oddly prescient in a metaphorical way: "Don't you try to save my life, I'm already dead . . ." 

Incidentally, there are some terrific photos of Brough, Carter and SFits at Jonathan Ganley's excellent Point That Thing website here

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

jonathan ganley - Jun 11, 2012

Thanks for the link, Graham.

As well as those 1987 live shots at the Gluepot, there are other photos of the Brough-era Straitjacket Fits on my blog here:

www.pointthatthing.com/2010/04/hawks-on-our-shoulders-straitjacket.html

and here:
www.pointthatthing.com/2009/06/torn-me-up-and-coming-straitjacket-fits.html

Andy - Jun 12, 2012

Andrew has written some great ear-worm songs. Hope he is still beavering away somewhere?
Andy

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Flesh D-Vice: Legend of Lugosi (1989)

Flesh D-Vice: Legend of Lugosi (1989)

This is just here for those of us old enough -- and perhaps dumb enough -- to remember the sheer visceral power and life-threatening live shows that this band (from Palmerston North? I will stand... > Read more

Cilla Black: Liverpool Lullaby (1969)

Cilla Black: Liverpool Lullaby (1969)

Liverpool today is a very different place from the tough port city it was in the years after the war: a world perhaps only familiar from documentaries about the Beatles' early years where... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; Official Release Series Discs 1-4 (Reprise)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Young; Official Release Series Discs 1-4 (Reprise)

Just as you could argue that on his debut album Are You Experienced, Jimi Hendrix sketched out the map of sounds and styles he would explore in his short career, so you could make the case that on... > Read more

ALBERT AYLER: Opening the door to the future

ALBERT AYLER: Opening the door to the future

Albert Ayler -- the inspired, heroic, driven and sometimes difficult saxophonist who committed suicide in 1970 at age 34 -- still stands at a crossroads in jazz. By the late Nineties –... > Read more